This is a community announcement from the Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit agency. It was not written by the Ithaca Voice. To submit community announcements, please submit to Matt Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TCAT is striving to run service as smoothly as possible while contending with a surge in the numbers of TCAT employees who’ve been forced to stay home due to the coronavirus.
TCAT is already operating on a reduced schedule for the winter holiday season ending Jan. 22, but riders over the next couple of weeks should expect additional trips to be eliminated mostly on higher-frequency routes to include the 10, 30 and 81. Though it’s never ideal to cut any trips, TCAT strategically cuts those on high-frequency routes to minimize the wait time for the next available bus.
As widely reported, the highly contagious Omicron variant of Covid has vastly increased the numbers of reported exposures to the virus to unprecedented levels in Tompkins County, all over the United States and abroad. In recent days, an increasing number of TCAT drivers and other staff have been off work after either testing positive for the virus or suffering symptoms and awaiting test results to determine whether it is safe for them to return to work. While staying home to protect others is always the right thing to do, the impact is compounding an existing local and nationwide worker shortage and further straining the ability of schools, businesses and transit agencies all across the country to operate as normal.
As this challenge will likely persist in the coming weeks, TCAT is asking riders to please plan ahead for service reductions that will be determined on a day-by-day basis and contingent on ever-changing staffing levels by checking the public announcements section listed at the bottom left of TCAT’s bus tracker at https://realtimetcatbus.availtec.com/InfoPoint/ These announcements are also posted directly onto the red scrolling banner on TCAT’s home page at www.tcatbus.com TCAT also urges riders to download real-time apps for these service-related updates. See types of apps and instructions at https://tcatbus.com/ride/apps/. Riders can also ask us questions by emailing TCAT staff at email@example.com or by calling (607) 277-RIDE (7433). If needed, please don’t hesitate to ask staff for help downloading and/or using apps.
TCAT apologizes for any inconvenience and we thank our riders for the patience and support they have shown throughout these difficult times. TCAT applauds the drivers, mechanics and other staff who have worked hard to provide an essential service while adhering to stringent safety protocols. TCAT is also appreciative of the Tompkins County Health Department for providing continual support and up-to-date information to keep our community as safe as possible.